In short – with consideration and empathy. A personalised approach is best and the patient’s General Practitioner who knows them best is perfectly placed for this.
- Approach the discussion in health-related terms – if there are comorbidities associated with weight, this is the ideal starting point. Do not blame the patient or stigmatise the issue – obesity is a chronic disease and the patient should be supported in management.
- The number on the scales is *not* the issue – this does not accurately reflect their skeletal muscle mass, body fat percentage or basal metabolic rate nor is it standardised for age or sex. It is used purely as a starting point for the discussion, but the aim of any weight management plan must be health and decreasing severity of comorbidities.
- A multi-disciplinary approach – a well-constructed program should encompass a allied health professionals including dietetics and psychologist alongside specialist medical practitioners, allowing adjuncts such as pharmacotherapy or referral for surgery if appropriate.
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